Some of the world’s brightest and most influential marketers gathered at the Festival of Media Global event in Switzerland last month.
Naturally, the opportunities and threats of digital media featured heavily in discussions. And a prominent theme was the risk of marketers over-investing in platforms that are not appropriate for their business.
It’s a challenge facing brands large and small alike in today’s fast-paced, customer-empowered world. How do you select the best platforms to communicate with your audiences?
Part of the answer is to get back to basics.
Before the rise of digital, good marketing always began with customer insight: what type of person would use your product, why would they choose yours over a competitor’s, how do you persuade them to come to you, which is the best medium to communicate with them?
We didn’t always have all the answers right away. But we could make an educated guess. Sometimes we got good results first time. Most of the time we would keep testing and learning, tweaking the proposition, exploring different media. The upshot was a virtuous cycle where – on the whole – communications became more precise and more effective over time.
Adopting this approach in the new world makes a lot of sense. Change happens quickly and intuitive, energetic test-and-learn strategies can help marketers keep a finger on the pulse.
I believe the biggest challenge facing marketers today is finding ways to walk the line between long-term strategic objectives and the dynamic day-to-day rhythms of the media.
We need to keep the long-term goals in mind, but have the flexibility to adapt what we are doing along the journey. It’s the difference between riding the crest of the wave and establishing a model for enduring success. Ongoing testing and learning plays a vital part in this – it means emerging opportunities can be explored, but reduces the risk of over-investing in the wrong platforms.
Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest theory says that those who thrive are not necessarily the strongest, but the most adaptable. This insight has never been truer for the marketing industry.